How we do it

4 Returns holistic management

We apply the 4 Returns holistic management framework developed by Commonland ( 4 Returns is a science-based framework that is proven in practice. Developed in close collaboration with leading scientific institutes, business schools, farmers and experts, 4 Returns transforms and regenerates ecosystems by focusing on 4 key returns over the course of a single generation, or 20 years.

The 4 Returns framework mapped out for the Jankovich Birtok, a road map

Return of Inspiration


  • Local stakeholders are engaged in work,and inspired by vision to replicate / join the good work
  • Activities are embedded in wider landscape
  • Stakeholders from community involved in or informed ofdecision-making
  • Community members have hope for future of the region; (educated) people stay in the region


  • Lead by example, walk the talk
  • Organise decision-making at the lowest level possible
  • Create collective leadership among employees / stakeholders, and engaged in an inspiring joint vision for the future
  • Take action to prevent corruption and other phenomena detrimental to the business
  • Network of professionals and strategic partnerships for innovation

and Identity

  • Community members feel sense of belonging and pride of their identity
  • Hosting, organising or sponsoring cultural events
  • Local culture and identity interwoven in working culture, integrating regional identity in own branding
  • Supporting monuments and historic sites

Social Return


  • Number of jobs created directly and indirectly
  • Sense of purpose, belonging, ownership and responsibility among employees
  • Good working atmosphere
  • Good job conditions (salaries, other social benefits)
  • Representative and balanced workforce (gender, ethnicity, etc.)


  • Improved (social) security, less theft, more savings, more resilient community
  • Improved health of employees and community members
  • Improved infrastructure (roads, water, energy, telecommunications)
  • Peace based on mutual understanding between farmers, nature conservation & citizens / consumers

Capacity Building
& Innovation

  • Improved education and (environmental) awareness, e.g. through partnerships with schools
  • Employees’ and community members’ professional skills are developed and improved
  • Entrepreneurship is stimulated among employees and community members
  • R&D investments – test ground for innovation

Natural Return

Water Management

  • Improve water infiltration capacity of the land
  • Reduce surface runoff
  • Reduce erosion
  • Minimise net water use
  • De-canalise waterways
  • Restore natural (river) banks

Conservation & Restoration

  • Applying 3 zones to farm management plan
  • Applying agro-ecological principles
  • Stopping the use of chemical herbicides, pesticides and other toxic substances
  • Control invasive species and stimulate native animals
  • Restore natural vegetation & habitat
  • Animal welfare

Soil Management

  • Minimising soil disturbance (e.g. reduced tillage)
  • Cover crops, rotations or otherwise ensuring continuous vegetation cover
  • Management
  • Stimulating soil life and increasing soil organic matter / carbon
  • Sustainable (rotational) grazing
  • Reducing the use of chemical fertilisers and toxic substances

Financial Return


  • Long-term business planning
  • Balancing people, planet and profit in business model
  • Measures to increase resilience of the business for economic or environmental shocks
  • Making use of available subsidies and incentives for sustainability and green growth
  • Community co-invested and sharing benefits

More (diverse)
Added Value

  • New products and/or business models
  • Vertically integrating the value chain (processing, direct marketing, etc.)
  • Developing / improving brand identity and marketing of products
  • Other (spin-off) businesses are sparked and contribute to local economy


  • Reduce the use of (artificial) inputs across the business (e.g. improved efficiency or changing processes altogether)
  • Re-use waste streams that cannot be reduced (e.g. waste water, heat)
  • Recycle the waste streams that cannot be re- used (e.g. bio-energy, fertiliser or bio-plastics)